Runners Allege Bib Fraud at Boston Marathon

Two runners who allegedly had the same bib number at this year’s Boston Marathon, spurring rumors of bib fraud at the race.
Two runners who allegedly had the same bib number at this year’s Boston Marathon, spurring rumors of bib fraud at the race.
Photo via Twitter/@ndiblasio

Update (9:15 p.m.): The two men pictured in the tweet below are two former Boston College cross country runners, Fittish, a fitness blog affiliated with Deadspin, reported.

Fittish’s Jon Gugala spoke with BC cross country assistant coach Tim Ritchie, who told him that he used to coach the two young men. The coach refused to give any names or information, but said they were running to raise money for a friend’s charity. They resorted to counterfeit bibs after failing to properly apply for bibs by the Boston Athletic Association’s deadline.

Ritchie told Gugala that he didn’t know “how many other runners were on the underground fundraising team, or if there were other runners with other counterfeit bibs.”

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The BAA released a statement via Facebook on Thursday night to address the issue of fradulent bibs:

As adjudication continues for the 2014 Boston Marathon, we have a review process for when questions arise. We take all matters related to participation and performance seriously. We rely upon our own information as well as reports from runners and the public. At the end of our review process, we will make determinations upon review and prior to results becoming official for our field of 32,000 finishers. A committee comprised of B.A.A. officials reviews all questions related to unofficial participation. This process takes several weeks, and results are unofficial until they appear in the Racers' Record Book, which is due to be published during the summer. Among the B.A.A.'s clearly stated rules for official participants in the Boston Marathon, runners receive instruction on multiple occasions that bibs may not be altered in any way, and they are not transferable or exchangeable. No one may wear the bib number belonging to another, official entrant.

Original Story:At least two people have come forward saying that they found evidence of bib fraud that took place at the 2014 Boston Marathon, Runners Breakfast reported.

Kara Bonneau and Michael Sullivan each found other people wearing bibs with their numbers when they searched race photos in the days after the marathon. Bonneau found four other people wearing her number, and Sullivan found one.

“I was especially infuriated to see photos of those runners posing with finisher medals that really did not belong to them,” Bonneau told Runners Breakfast. “I also felt really naive because I made it pretty easy for them to do this by posting a photo of my bib on social media.”

When she sent a message to the Boston Marathon Facebook page, the report says organizers responded saying “there is little we can do, other than to send a message of deterrence.”

At this point, it remains unclear whether there was actually bib fraud or if there is a more innocent explanation.